Facility to focus on new vaccines

GREENFIELD — Scientists at Elanco Animal Health’s new facility on the north side of Greenfield are working to develop vaccines for food-borne illness and researching alternatives to antibiotics used in food animals.

About 30 employees are now working in the new 48,000-square-foot facility, construction of which wrapped up in the spring, said Colleen Parr Dekker, a spokeswoman for the company.

Two short-term priorities for the new facility include exploring vaccines for salmonella, a common source of food-borne illness in the United States, and bovine respiratory disease, which affects approximately 75 percent of cattle.

The expansion is expected to create new 75 research positions paying an average salary of about $60,000 plus benefits during the next several years, company officials said.

Though Elanco, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co., began developing its animal research division several years ago, the new program will serve as a catalyst for the company’s vaccine business, Parr Dekker said.

The completion of the project represents the third addition since the company relocated its world headquarters to Greenfield in 2010 and the second major expansion since August 2013, when it embarked on a $14 million effort to construct two buildings and roughly 92,000 square feet of additional space.

The company is leasing the new center from Buckingham Companies, an Indianapolis-based property management firm that built the $13 million facility, which sits just north of Elanco’s world headquarters building in Progress Park. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

When Elanco representatives presented plans for the expansion in November 2014, the Greenfield City Council approved a 10-year tax break that will spare the company about $1.6 million, about a 50 percent reduction. During that same period of time, the expansion is expected to generate $1.65 million in additional tax revenue for the city’s redevelopment district.

The company’s developments during the past few years are proof of the company’s commitment to the community, said Skip Kuker, executive director of the Hancock Economic Development Council.

Elanco represents one of the Greenfield’s biggest success stories, said the city’s mayor, Chuck Fewell.

And with the company’s headquarters situated just north of the Interstate 70 and State Road 9 interchange, Elanco’s attractive campus is one of the first things guests see as they arrive in town, Fewell said.

“We’re very fortunate to have that industry sitting on our front door,” Fewell said.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.